Right-back raring to go on return
Thursday 25 October
James Cullingworth is quietly confident he will be fit and firing when he makes his expected return for Ilkeston FC in the FA Trophy at Whitby Town on Saturday.
The 25-year-old re-signed at the New Manor Ground yesterday after getting his international clearance through following a stint ‘Down Under’.
Right-back Cullingworth (pictured) headed off to Australia for five months this summer to play for Manly United in the summer after completing his Sports Science degree at Loughborough University.
But the Nottingham-born player has opted to return to England and pursue a career in a teaching, alongside re-establishing himself in Evo-Stik League football.
“When I went to Australia I didn’t know how long I was going to be out there for and I did consider staying until December because I had got work in a gym and a bar,” said Cullingworth.
“But I thought it would be good to give teaching a go over here, so I got in touch with Kevin Wilson by email and as soon as I got back I was straight back into training.
“I’ve been keeping up to date with things at Ilkeston through the website and I don’t think there was anywhere else I was going to end up when I decided to come back - if the manager still wanted me.
“I’ve kept in shape playing half of the 22-game season in Australia. It’s a different style and culture with a lot of emphasis on attack but not much in the way of defences - which made me look pretty good when I arrived!
“I’ve also been going out for runs every day since being back, so while I may be a bit rusty with the English style of playing, I’ve been trying to keep myself in the right kind of shape.”
Cullingworth has outlined his determination to help lift us off the bottom of the table and insists there should be no talk of the club being in a ‘false position.’
He added: “While it’s true we do have games in hand because of the excellent FA Cup run, they are only of any use if you win them.
“If we don’t then we will still be struggling and we won’t be in a false position - we’ll be down there for a reason.
“That’s why it’s up to us to address the situation in the next few games. If we were to win the games we have to spare, then things would certainly look a lot healthier.”
* We surged to a 5-0 win at CV Reds this afternoon with Ryan Osborne netting twice along with Mike Williams and Courey Grantham. An own goal completed the scoring.